The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) is pleased to announce that Lou Vlasho, a distinguished American of Macedonian heritage and Honorary Consul of the Republic of Macedonia for the United States, will receive the Global UMD Macedonian Heritage Public Service Award at its 10th Anniversary Gala to be held on October 18, 2014 at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C.
Click HERE to purchase your tickets to the UMD 10th Anniversary Gala.
“Lou is an outstanding citizen who has made vital contributions to Macedonian causes, and has dedicated his life in serving society-at-large,” said UMD Co-Founder, Advisory Council Chair, and Vice-President Aleksandar Mitreski. “When I first met Lou, I was taken by his contagious passion for Macedonia, his positive attitude and willingness to help. He stood by UMD when it was a young organization, and has selflessly contributed to make it a leading organization worldwide for Macedonians”.
UMD Chairman Stojan Nikolov further added “Lou has shown exemplary public service and leadership in everything he has involved himself in, and his tireless work demonstrates the humility and appreciation he has towards the betterment of the community and the important role he has and continues to play in helping others.”
“I cannot be more honored to receive this Award from UMD, an organization, which I have deep respect and admiration for, that has worked to unite our people and has successfully advocated for Macedonia since being founded in 2004,” said Lou Vlasho. “My involvement and commitment in Macedonian causes is rooted in the upbringing I received by my two hardworking and passionate parents who immigrated to this great country for better opportunities for their family.”
He concluded, “this Award honors me, but also my parents, my wife, and my entire family who have wholeheartedly supported me through the years to help Macedonia.”
“Lou has been a great mentor and colleague to me, and UMD over the years, and his numerous accomplishments exemplify his commitment and perseverance that he continues to harvest from his love of Macedonia,” said UMD Co-Founder and President Metodija A. Koloski.
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Below is a biography of Lou Vlasho (Naples, Florida):
Lou Vlasho’s career as an executive spanned over fifty years in positions with Fortune 400 corporations, and privately owned companies. A Certified Management Accountant (CMA), which he was awarded in 1975, he is an entrepreneur with practical small business experience.
Vlasho graduated from Canton Timken High School, of which in 2008, he was honored with their Distinguished Alumnus Award. He received his Bachelor of Science in Commerce (Accounting Major) in 1959 from Ohio University, which also honored him in 2001 with their Distinguished Service Award.
From 1959 to 1984, Vlasho held numerous positions and attained the role of Vice President and Controller of Hobart Corporation, a Fortune 400 company in Troy, Ohio. In 1982, he was elected President of Institute of Management Accountants (IMA), the world’s leading management accounting organization. He was the youngest-ever elected, and still remains as such in IMA’s 95-years of operations. Vlasho was Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Wisconsin-based Bond Ice Cream, Inc. between 1984-1989. Following this he moved to Naples, Florida and took on the role of Vice President of Rimaco Corp., where he managed the famous Fifth Avenue restaurant Vergina till 2011, when he officially retired. Vlasho has his own independent consultancy, The Vlasho Group, Inc., which he has maintained since 1998.
Vlasho, a volunteer and community service leader at heart, has devoted countless hours over the last fifty years to many civic, professional, and community organizations and affairs in the communities in which he has resided. With a true passion for the betterment of his communities, he has served previously as (and some he currently still maintains):
– President, Troy, Ohio Chamber of Commerce
– Co-Chair, Naples Downtown Stakeholder’s Coalition
– Chairman, Miami County of Ohio Heart Association
– President, Troy Ohio Junior Chamber of Commerce
– Trustee, Edison State Community College (appointed by the Governor of Ohio)
– President/Chairman, Greater Naples Better Government Committee
– Vice-Chairman, Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce Board, and continues to serve as an Ex Officio Board Member
– President, Pelican Bay Association Presidents Council
– Chairman, Pelican Bay Services Division
– Co-Founder/President, Republican Men’s Club of Miami County, Ohio
– Co-Founder/President, Republican Men’s Club of Collier County, Florida
– Vice Chairman, Council for International Visitors in Collier (CIVIC)
– Vice Chairman, Board of the Boys and Girls Club of Collier County
– Chairman, City of Naples Community Redevelopment Advisory Board.
– Member, Collier County Sheriff’s Innovation (Advisory) Committee
– Board Director, Marco Island YMCA 2006-2007
– Vice President and Board Director, Naples Art Association
– Vice Chairman, Downtown Naples Association
– President, Fifth Avenue South Business Improvement District
– Editor, A Guide for Management Accounting (Cost Accountants Handbook), 1983, published by John Wiley & Sons
Vlasho has been listed in Outstanding Young Men in America and in Outstanding Financial Executives. In 1968, he was honored as Troy Ohio Outstanding Young Man of the Year; in 1983, as Honorary Member of Beta Alpha Psi, at Kent State University; in 2007, Collier County, Florida, Current Business Champions; also in 2007, the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the Year; in 2008, Collier County Education Foundation as Man of Distinction; and in 2014, The Naples Cultural Walkway Recognition Program, which recognizes present and past Naples community leaders by having their names permanently engraved on stone pavers.
Lou Vlasho was born in Canton, Ohio to parents who emigrated from Aegean Macedonia to the United States looking for better opportunities. Although, he devoted most of his life to his career and community service, he never forgot his parents’ homeland. Vlasho has been a strong advocate for Macedonia’s independence, recognition following the country declaring independence, and its path to NATO membership. He helped facilitate a Scholars Awards program at his alma mater, Ohio University, which has brought scores of Macedonian students to study on a full-time scholarship. His vision for and mentorship of these students has made them global citizens of the best caliber, being great Ambassadors for Macedonia today. He is an Honorary Board Member of Habitat for Humanity Macedonia, which provides simple, decent and affordable housing solutions for those living in poverty. Thanks to Vlasho’s efforts, in 2008, Collier County (Florida) Habitat for Humanity signed a partnership with Habitat for Humanity Macedonia.
Vlasho was a close friend of the late Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski and assisted in spreading the President’s vision for a World Conference on building dialogue among religions in Macedonia and the world, which carries on till this day. For over a decade, Vlasho was actively involved in the Annual National Prayer Breakfast (NPB) in Washington, D.C. and was instrumental in establishing the Greater Balkans Luncheon held during NPB Week. Along with his personal friend and former Ohio Senator George Voinovich, he Co-Chaired this now annual lunch, in its 14th year, which brings over 100 individuals annually from the Balkans to attend the luncheon.
In gratitude for Vlasho’s work with Macedonian causes, the Government of the Republic of Macedonia appointed him as Honorary Consul of the Republic of Macedonia to the United States in 2007. The Honorary Consulate was opened in Naples, Florida in February 2008. That year, Vlasho was presented the degree of Chevalier’s (Commander’s) Cross by the International Order of Saint Stanislas of Macedonia for charitable service. Vlasho is an honorary member of the UMD Advisory Council and a Macedonian Companion, and has provided important and strategic advice to UMD’s work in Washington, D.C., especially assisting in the development of the first-ever Congressional Caucus on Macedonia and Macedonian-Americans, and urging much-needed Congressional support for Macedonia’s NATO membership.
Vlasho who has been a full-time resident of Naples since 1989, currently resides with his wife of sixteen years, Patricia, in Pelican Bay, Naples, Florida. Lou and Patricia are members of The North Naples United Methodist Church. Lou has two sons, Vince who is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, and currently lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his wife and two daughters, and Steve, a graduate of The Ohio State University, who lives in the Los Angeles area with his wife and son. Patricia’s daughter Erika lives in New York City with her daughter. His first wife of thirty-eight years, Jan, is deceased.
Lou has always lived by the motto: “Service to humanity is the best work of life.”